Dongtae is the main protagonist of DICE. He starts off as a timid kid with bottom of the barrel rankings on every aspect of his life. Whether it be looks, intelligence, height, it was like Dongtae rolled "ones" for all of his attributes. Constantly bullied and incapable of approaching his crush Eunju, Dongtae is rescued from a spiral of despair by becoming a Dicer.
AppearanceEditPrior to becoming a Dicer, Dongtae was rather short and scrawny with a sad/depressed look on his face. He had freckles and very vivid dark circles under his eyes. With all the characteristics of the classic "wimp", he was an easy target for all the bullies in his class.
After becoming a Dicer, Dongtae invested many points on his physical attributes and became a tall, handsome, athletic young man with great dexterity and nimbleness. The freckles were the first to go, but he retained his "panda eyes", although less prominent, as his trademark as a character in this series.
Dongtae is so far the only unequivocally moral Dicer. He becomes ashamed of himself for telling a minor lie early on while pursuing a quest and decides only to accept quests that don't involve harming people. Most of the time, he is shown playing pranks and doing chores to obtain Dice. He still likes Eunju no matter how he looks even though he is dating Mio after using dices.
Despite becoming popular, handsome and strong, Dongtae remains gentle and honest, and deplores Taebin's readiness to play with people's emotions in pursuit of Dice. He feels guilty for Byungchul's death. He originally envisaged Dice as a way to become strong in order to help people and get Eunju to acknowledge him.
He still retains personality traits from when he was a bread shuttle and is very shy towards girls. But he can be forceful and command obedience from his classmates as a Dicer, and quickly convinces people to join his guild.
Like Taebin, Dongtae's desires did not spiral out of control upon having become a Dicer. Once he became satisfied with himself, he stopped receiving new quests for that reason.
Flashbacks indicate that at least since elementary school Dongtae had been the target of bullying and a victim of low self-esteem. He lives with his alcoholic mother and spends most of the day alone. The only person in class who treated him with sympathy and was unconcerned with his physical appearance was the most popular girl in the school, Eunju, who is depicted as his polar opposite: clever, beautiful and accomplished in all respects.
As the story begins, Dongtae is in secondary school and bullying has evolved to outright servitude to the class leaders. He does his best to hide his suffering from Eunju, as well as his feelings towards her, and is ecstatic just to find out that she remembers his name.
When Taebin, the transfer student, arrives at his class and becomes an instant celebrity due to his top-class looks, physical prowess, and intelligence, Dongtae becomes silently jealous, which is enhanced by the visible attraction Eunju feels for him. Things come to a head when he decides to stalk Taebin in his desperation to find any sort of unpleasant aspect about him and keep Eunju from him.
While stalking Taebin, Dongtae is noticed by X, who sends the Die intended for Taebin finishing a mission to the place where he is hidden. During a brief struggle with Taebin for it, Dongtae accidentally activates the Die and thus becomes a Dicer.
Initially, he has misgivings about it, but his desire to conquer Eunju motivates him to use the Die points and accept X's quests. He returns to school with much improved looks, and quickly leaves his life as a bread shuttle for the bullies behind for much increased popularity. It is too late to win Eunju, though: by the time she meets him, Taebin is her boyfriend already.
After receiving a morally dubious task from X and feeling bad about fulfilling it, Dongtae decides to keep improving himself, but to refrain from accepting quests that involve hurting other people. In the meantime, he keeps looking for a chance with Eunju.
Things remain more or less normal until Dongtae decides to help his acquaintance Byungchul, with whom he had shared some misery in the past and who has become the new preferential target of bullying after Dongtae became a Dicer. After saving Byungchul from aggression by nondescript bullies, Dongtae gives him a Die.Things don't turn out as Dongtae expected. Instead of using Dice just to improve his physical looks and evade bullying, Byungchul becomes violent and being cleverer than Dongtae, he finds a way monstrously to increase the strength of just one arm, and ends up gravely injuring one of his bullies. Dongtae is left to ponder the inherent dangers of Dice, but never questions their usefulness.
Later, Byungchul is tricked by X and dies while scattering Dice all over the floor in the school. They are picked by students and soon many Dicers appear. Not as scrupulous as Dongtae, they pursue whatever quest X gives them and in the end, Dongtae has to save Eunju from a mass quest when X targets her.
By accomplishing that, Dongtae receives a golden die and attains A ranker status like Taebin. Using his new Time Pause power, he saves Eunju again and decides to form his own Dicer guild in order to protect her and keep Dicers in line.
Still coming to terms with the fact that he won't be able to get closer to Eunju as a guild leader, since Eunju refuses to use Dice, Dongtae is approached by Mio, a Dicer girl who heavily improved herself and has a crush on him. She tells him the idea of the guild is utopian in her opinion.
Later, he realizes that he is not receiving any new quests, and finds out that the same applies to Taebin. When the B rankers start to fight each other over a mass quest, the two and Mio discuss the implications, and it's at that point that Dongtae reaches the same conclusion Taebin had formulated earlier: Dice production is filled by Dicers' desires, and since Dongtae and Taebin had attained contentment after improving themselves, they didn't have the necessary craving to generate Dice.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
As a Dicer, Dongtae is easily one of the most powerful and accomplished Dicers in the story so far alongside Mooyoung and Taebin. He was even able to duel Taebin into a stalemate, an impressive feat considering Taebin's abilities and superior experience. He has become clever enough to earn high grades in school and strong enough to hold his own against bullies attacking Byungchul initially. His most notable physical attribute is his immense agility/dexterity he chose to emphasize to the peak of human ability. As such, Dongtae can run so fast he is able to climb walls. From the standpoint of sheer physical ability, Dongtae is currently one of the quickest, most agile characters in the story so far, if not the quickest and most agile. As great agility can generate tremendous force, this makes up for the physical strength that Dongtae may be lacking, although he is shown to be very strong regardless. Dongtae has progressed to the point of not only making short work of any average student but to even dominate multiple high level Dicers at once including low A-Rankers. He is also able to fight on par and even defeat some high level A-Rank Dicers, with the most notable exception being Mooyoung. As for sensorial skills, he has increased his ability to see in the dark to the point of effectively developing night vision.As an A ranker, Dongtae is able to stop time with his ability "Time Pause" at the cost of Die points (one point for ten seconds). When activated, everything around him is frozen until his "Time Pause" ability runs out, however he can release anything by touching it. He later gets an Ancient Die, which was obtained from the Die Capsule Machine. This Die contains several unique and powerful abilities such as Time Reverse, an ability to get back to the past and Time Skip, an ability to "skip time".
After Suksoon is defeated by X's Mars King and loses his A-Rank dice, Dongtae gains the "Teleport" ability and adapts Suksoon's "Time Cutter" ability. The adapted ability closely mimics the original except it does not damage the user's body and only slows the target down instead of trapping them in "Time Pause". This in return enables him to be able to use "Time Cutter" without its side effects of harming the user.
It is then revealed that the X which is engraved in the Ancient Die is another part of X who is mutable than the current X due to X's wish to the Final Die on wanting for someone to play with him 'forever'. This made X's other personality get consumed and made into the Ancient Die. With the help of both their desires, the X in the Ancient Die helps Dongtae by improving and upgrading Dongtae's Tetrahedron (4-Sides) Ancient Die to a Hexahedron (6-Sides) Ancient Die. It grants Dongtae 2 extra rolls/abilities. The Fifth roll is revealed to be "Time Distortion", an ability which "slows down" the time of others within a short range but enables the user to move at normal speed. The fourth roll is revealed to be "Time Rewind," this was activated when he was fighting Suksoon (Ch 174). When this ability is used, the user and those in the user's vicinity retain their memories, with everyone else having a slight sense of deja vu at best (Ch 175). This skill was used again in his fight with Mooyoung (Ch 245).
X: Dongtae and X start off with a decent relationship, developing into a conflict between the two characters. They are shown talking to each other a lot more than needed for the issuing of quests, and Dongtae even pulled X's leg once. He is thankful to Dice - and by extension to X - for the opportunity to break away from his life as the classroom loser. This makes him somewhat averse to condemning X for the consequences of using Dice: he does not blame X directly for causing Byungchul's death and is still in talking terms with him even after he targets Eunju (although it is true that he doesn't know that X set Byungchul up). If anything, he considers X nosy for barging in when he wants to keep to himself. Soon in the Webtoon, Dongtae realizes X's goal isn't what he thought it was, thus developing a conflict between the two characters.Eunju - Quite possibly the most complex relationship in the series, Dongtae is profoundly devoted to Eunju and will go to any length to protect her. He considers her the most beautiful girl in the school and its best soul. This has developed into a serious crush, but Dongtae is respectful of Eunju's feelings and hides his love for her after she starts dating Taebin. He even went to the extent of sacrificing any chances with her by declaring himself a Dicer and creating a guild to protect non-dicers with her in mind. That did not work very well: while she initially kept her distance and he did his best not to think of her, it took only a request for conversation and an apology from Eunju for him to be again head over heels for her. He was mortified that Eunju thought he might have saved her just because of a quest from X, but he didn't hold it against her and accepted her apology immediately. In the long run, his intention is to show to Eunju that Dice are not necessarily a bad thing. Eunju would do anything, even to end friend's lives to get rid of DICE once and for all. She uses her Die and changes dramaticaly.
Taebin: As the two first A-Rankers of the school, albeit the rivalry, they do share a mutual understanding. Before Dongtae was a Dicer he was naturally jealous of Taebin due to his attributes, and even more so when the latter was able to win Eunju's affection, hence becoming her boyfriend. After becoming a Dicer, Dongtae learned of Taebin's former appearance and was determined to expose him as a fake to Eunju. However after learning that Eunju was the one who asked him out, rather than Taebin using her as a ploy to complete a Dice quest, Dongtae took a step back. And while he condemns Taebin's initial readiness to play with Eunju's feelings in exchange of Dice, he seems to acknowledge that Taebin has grown genuinely to care for her. As a result, he eventually grows to have some form of respect for Taebin, and although he initially refused Taebin's offer to become allies, he temporarily does so in order to protect Eunju from a quest created by X as Eunju being the designated target of harm. He continues to seek the help of Taebin from time to time in order to protect Eunju. Before Eunju realized Taebin is a Dicer, Dongtae covered for him while also taking the blame for spreading Dice throughout the school after witnessing her feelings for Taebin. Although the two still remain rivals, due to Taebin's Dice veteran-ship, he occasionally discusses Dice related matters with him in order to learn more in preparation for whatever X bestows.
Mio: Dongtae is initially intimidated by Mio's straightforwardness, but does not repel her advances. He returns her frankness with frankness and the two later evolve into great allies. Mio has a strong sense of loyalty towards Dongtae, matched by her feelings for him. Due to their similar backgrounds of backgrounds of initially being unattractive and getting bullied, Mio could empathize with Dongtae. After seeing his progression from Bread Shuttle to one of the most popular students in school, Mio grew to respect him more for it. Similar to Dongtae, Mio does not quite know how to properly deal with her feelings due to both of them initially being looked over by people. Mio often responds to her own bashful insecurities by playfully hitting Dongtae. After taking the initiative to get closer to Dongtae, it is later revealed through her Clairvoyance that although Dongtae still has feelings for Eunju, he harbors feelings toward Mio as well. After a while Dongtae and mMo's relationship develops which leads Dongtae to finally ask Mio to be his girlfriend which she accepts by kissing him.
Byungchul: Early on in the story before Dongtae became a Dicer, Byungchul did not associate much if at all with him. Byungchul seemed to lie low while Dongtae was being bullied because he was the target of sporadic bullying as well. However, after Dongtae's sudden rise in popularity, Byungchul became the new prime target for bullying. Even after Dongtae saves him from the bullies, Byungchul reveals feels of resentment towards Dongtae due to his graduation from bread shuttle nullifying the "under the radar" status Byungchul worked so hard to achieve. Sympathizing with him, Dongtae helps Byungchul by giving him his first Die, effectively making him the 3rd school Dicer after himself and Taebin. After becoming a Dicer, Byungchul snaps and hospitalizes one of his bullies, becoming progressively more unhinged as time went on. Although Dongtae was weary and unsure of him, Byungchul still trusted him and supplied him with invaluable information on X and Dice, essentially becoming the closest thing to a friend Dongtae had at the time. His death came as a heavy shock to Dongtae.
Notes & TriviaEdit
- His birthday is May 9th.